Market Maneuvers: New Olive Garden entrees; Genghis Grill expands
Having visited central and northern Italy, Olive Garden's corporate chefs have developed several "permanent" new menu items "crafted from fresh, simple ingredients and rooted in Italian culinary tradition." New dishes include a Pork Milanese entree, Lasagna Fritta appetizer and Zeppoli dessert. Cheese Ravioli joins the children's menu as a kid-friendly, Garden Fare option. To be included on the Garden Fare menu, less than 30 percent of the dish's calories come from fat. Olive Garden is part of Darden Restaurants Inc., Orlando, Fla.
The Mongolian Stir Fry chain, Genghis Grill, Dallas, said it expects by the end of this year to have 42 corporate and/or franchise locations. The chain said it just signed Carroll Family Asian Stir Fry to open six stores in the Phoenix area, with the first opening by the end of this year. Officials say 20 new Genghis Grills are slated to open by year's end in southwest, south central, Midwest, and southeast markets. The chain operates locations through franchised and corporate stores throughout AZ, CO, IA, IL, MO, MN, NM, NV, TN and TX. Additional locations in AR, KS, MO, TN, OK, GA, NC, NM, NV, and TX are pending upon construction or site selection.